This is the transcription of a recording from 9 Nov 2012. It covers a variety of topics. If there is interest, I’ll see about making the recording available another way since it’s too large to post here.
JP: Oh yeah, I was asking about Zenobia, and Lois, and oh, as a pre…
JP: Prelude, yes. As a prelude, you’ve given me a lot of these letters from Howard, I’m sorry…
JP: Fred. I don’t know where I got Howard. I’m thinking Howard Rayon… Anyway, as I read them I’m seeing some letters from Alice as well, and of course there are lot of references to Zen and some others.
Patrick: That was Alice Berridge and her husband was Edmund and they had a daughter. They were good friends in south shore of Long Island. Yeah. That whole teaching bunch that I met in 1968, 1969.
JP: Yeah. Tell me again about eh teaching how you lost the teaching job and ended up buying the first place in Gallilea.
Patrick: Okay. Let’s see. Where does that start? Lois was teaching music on Long Island in Nassau County and she had, of course she was a member of the Music Teachers’ Union, and so she knew the director of the music department in Port Chest Station and he hired me. For two years I worked there as a music teacher, junior high school. And this kid, Danny Goldone was in my class for two years running, and the second year, one more year and I would’ve had, what do they call it…?
Patrick: …tenure. And the second year he was in my class and I had the end of the spring concert of the junior high choir, we did Georgie Girl, and some other stuff in that period of time with the choir. I had to turn my class over to Cass who was another music teacher next to me. She had two classes then, in the room and was showing a Bernstein film about music.
Patrick: And I went in to check on the class and here’s Danny Goldone in the front row raising hell. I picked him up by the hair of his head with this hand… he kicked me in the balls, so I punched him with this hand in the mouth … natural reaction.
Patrick: Broke the tendon. This finger dropped. So we butterflied it together… and I played the concert without this finger with my choir, he lost a tooth on the floor, all the other kids scrambled for it, all the other boys anyway, scrambled for the tooth of course.
JP: Of course.
Patrick: In the meanwhile he was dragged off to the office and I played the concert. When I finished the concert, they took me to the hospital where they put this back together. I was in there for five days.
JP: It’s the left index finger.
Patrick: Yeah. Then when it was time to come out, the director of the music department and the principal of the school picked me up and they told me that I couldn’t come back to school “or else” from Mr. Galdone, who owned the garbage trucks in Nassau County, in that part of it.
Patrick: But that they would pay me until the end of the year and give me a recommendation. My arm, this arm, my left arm was in a cast, so I went home and practiced the piano with my right hand. Then when I took the cast off, I went in to help Howard Van Hyning from my high school. He is now the percussionist and timpanist for the Metropolitan Opera in New York. He really made it. [NOTE: Here is Howard’s obituary from the New York Times.]
Patrick: So I was helping him in Brooklyn Heights make a studio where he kept all of his timpani, he had many of them; he rented them, in addition to the ones he played… he also taught. So I was helping him do that and I said “I wanna leave the country” and he said well my next door neighbor has a house for sale. And, her husband had recently died, a painter, von Wicht, John von Wicht. I’d never heard of him.
Anyway, so I met the lady who had a wig, twisted, she couldn’t afford to keep it straight, and she showed me this black and white photograph of the house in Gallilea, a stone house with a roof and a window and a door. It was exactly four thousand dollars which is exactly what I had in the bank account. So I gave her the money, cash, she put it under her stockings in the drawer, and gave me a little piece of paper on the back of a laundry bill or something, gave me the name of the guy who had the key to the house, and that’s how we started in Gallilea.
Patrick: John Ulbricht had the key. He was another painter who was born in Cuba but he was American and he sold paintings to Danny Kaye and people in Hollywood and stuff like that. he was our neighbor there. Then the old woman died and I still didn’t have a deed to the house so I had to get affidavits from John Ulbricht. That was complicated.
JP: Ohh yeah. Yeah.
Patrick: And then Allison got sick with cancer and we had to sell the house to pay the medical bills and come back to Tampa.
JP: Right. That’s when you started doing the Venetian blinds…
Patrick: Yeah, and working in a rock band. I still have the poster. I showed you the poster, no?
Patrick: I’ll send you a copy… I can’t remember the name of the band right now. There were four of us.
JP: I remember there were four of you and one was really short. I think it was the drummer.
Patrick: Yeah. He was black.
JP: Ohh, I’m thinking of somebody else then.
Patrick: Anyway, well, never mind.
JP: I remember you guys would rehearse in Todd’s Blinds.
Patrick: Yeah, right. And we were given our green tuxedos for the release of the recording. We played in, I think Sears Center or something like that, a concert to announce the recordings that we’d done which never really got out on an LP.
JP: I remember that you had to buy some jumpsuits or something like that from Sears because you had to have a uniform for one of your gigs.
Patrick: Well, this was for showing the … for presenting the potential record which never happened.
Patrick: It wasn’t Sears, it was some private company that gave us these green, green tuxedos for the concert. So we arrived in this black hearse that one of the guys in the band, the bass guitarist had. He had a black hearse which is great for loading speakers. This is all in Tampa.
Patrick: Lots of other stuff happened in Tampa too; I can’t remember it all.
Patrick Meadows 1934 – 2017.